When your phone is stolen or misplaced, the police can track it using the IMEI number. IMEI means International Mobile Equipment Identity. It is a unique number and no two mobile numbers has the same in the world.
The police usually runs the IMEI Number in the database. They send the flagged IMEI number to all the operators in Nigeria,India,USA or all over the world and if the flagged IMEI number (Phone) is on any network, they can get the details from the operator regarding which phone number is latched on to this IMEI. What brand of your phone is stolen? Iphone, infinix,samsung,Itel, Camon? You get it back by tracking it.
From phone number they can get the details of the person using that number. Also the flagged IMEI / Number can be checked for geolocation using the cell id or the tower with which it is latched and using other parameters, location of the phone can be traced.
Here is the point as gathered by GISTMASTER
I’ll explain it so that a layman will also understand it:
- When your phone is off, police contacts your service provider to give the details of calls made in a specific duration of time. So they can get last location of the person who stole or bought the stolen phone from there. This is basically because they connect to a tower of the service provider to make calls/SMS/etc and the provider records the same. Therefore, some details regarding the call, your phone and the tower are stored with the company.
- When your phone is on, police can track it. Again, it is connected to a tower and can be detected easily.
- Apart from this, police can get the documents submitted by the new user while buying the SIM card and get their details from there.
- Also, android keeps a track of location history by default. That too can be used if police is able to get access to it through Google etc.
- IMEI is of a phone (and a dual-sim phone has 2 IMEI). Every time you make a call, your IMEI is taken note of by the service provider, which is reflected in the details of calls as mentioned in Point 1.
- The phone can be tracked by IMEI or Phone number as both are recorded in call details.